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To Mars! Perseverance rover all set to launch on Thursday 30 July

29 Jul 2020, 13:00 UTC
To Mars! Perseverance rover all set to launch on Thursday 30 July
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Tomorrow, NASA plans to launch the Perseverance rover (and its helicopter, Ingenuity) to Mars. The launch window opens at 11:50 UTC (07:50 Eastern US time) and is about two hours long.

First things first: If you want to watch it live, you can always rely on NASA's livestream, and/or their YouTube and Twitch channels. Also, The Planetary Society is hosting a virtual launch party starting at 11:30 UTC (07:30 ET) with guests and information; it's free but you need to register to join in.

The launch will be using an Atlas V rocket, which should put on a good show. It's a big rocket, and will give the mission a push hard enough to get it to arrive at Mars on 18 February 2021.

So what's this mission about? In a word: Life. In two words: Martian life. In slightly more words: Looking for direct evidence of ancient life of Mars, looking for conditions that could've supported life then or still possibly can now, as well as seeing if it's possible for humans to explore Mars.

In many ways Perseverance is like the previous rover Curiosity; they use the same chassis and overall architecture both in the rover as well ...

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